Author Interview: The Spindle Chair

Shellie, thanks for joining us today at Divine Encouragement. I am excited to introduce readers to your ministry and writing. Tell us about your marriage ministry and why you felt led to write a novel.
Tina, I appreciate the opportunity to connect with your Divine Encouragement readers. My burden is for marriages and families. As a kid from a broken home, I saw first-hand the pain kids experience from divorce. Consequently, I decided never to marry, because I never wanted to experience divorce from the adult side. When I knew God wanted me to marry, I pretty much told Him I’d only do it if He promised to teach me how to “do” marriage. God has been faithful to do that, as He always is. Now I write and speak about various marriage topics. I simply want to share what God has taught me about marriage as my husband and I have worked our way to a growing, thriving marriage. We had everything stacked against us, my husband and I. Everything from things we learned wrong, to bad habits we brought to the marriage, to ungodly expectations, to the fact we’re both childhood sexual abuse survivors. YOUR MARRIAGE resources is how I share what I’ve learned the hard way.
My novels are about the “perfect storms” in marriage—what happens when my weaknesses hit yours head-on and we’re both left wondering if anything can be salvaged. Through fiction I can delve into the reality of marriage, be honest about the emotions and struggles of a given situation, and really take my readers on a gripping journey toward hope. That’s what I want to do–give readers a glimpse at God working through a disaster or near-disaster in marriage. I want to offer hope to all marriages.
And your first novel was recently released?
Yes. The Spindle Chair, the first book in The Barn Church series. The church is literally a converted barn in southern Alabama. Each book in the series deals with a different couple within that church body. I look at one particular problem, one particular issue which is present in that marriage, showing both the husband’s and wife’s perspective.
Tell us about The Spindle Chair.
The Spindle Chair is the story of Laurie and Pierce Crane. As a child, Pierce was adopted by the couple who founded Rowe City Gospel Church—The Barn Church. They’re very close, very comfortable with each other before the story begins. They both want children and have been trying to conceive since they first married about seven years ago. When Laurie finally conceives, it’s a miracle for her but a catastrophe for Pierce and neither knows why their marriage begins to unravel.
In your novel, the husband is dealing with childhood trauma, not the wife. Why did you write it this way?
By having it be the husband and not the wife, I hoped to give women readers an alternate perspective. Pierce is the one dealing with past trauma, but it’s Laurie whose expectations are shattered when her pregnancy is nothing like she imagined. And, I think at any given time in my marriage I could be the one dealing with pain from my past, or I might be married to the one dealing with past pain. I think husbands and wives suffer at different times and in different ways, so I give both perspectives. I believe God uses circumstances in a believer’s life to spotlight areas of hurt, not just sin, so those hurts can be healed. Even though that process can be scary, the fruit of it is undeniable. When God heals me of something, my marriage reaps the benefits. But, as I said, it’s not the easiest journey. I have a resource for that on my web site called RISE TO FREEDOM.
Shellie, tell us a bit about your background.
I’m a kid from a broken home and a sexual abuse survivor. I grew up attending church, but really struggled with my parents’ divorce, and worried marriage and happiness weren’t compatible. I was afraid of marriage and didn’t want to marry. When I knew God wanted me to marry, I pretty much told Him I wouldn’t marry unless He promised to teach me how to “do” marriage His way. God was faithful to do that, as He always is, and now I write about the “perfect storms” in marriage—what happens when my weaknesses hit yours head-on and we’re both left wondering if anything can be salvaged
How can readers find you?
At my web site I maintain a blog, offer FREE eCards to help husbands and wives communicate, and several video seminar teachings on marriage topics. My teaching on conflict resolution called BREAK THE CONFLICT CYCLE, is actually FREE to download right now. I believe any marriage can be healed and thrive—no matter what baggage or bad habits we brought into it—if both parties obey God. I want to help people do exactly that: work with God toward healing for themselves and growth in their marriage.
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Shellie Arnold writes and speaks on marriage and family topics. She’s been married for 29 years, has three children, and has home schooled for the last twenty years. Find Shellie at where she encourages marriages and offers insight to help others live Happily Even After.

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